What Are Important Questions To Ask An Agency?

What Are Important Questions To Ask An Agency?

Recruitment agencies offer a valuable service which will save you considerable time and money. They will source candidates that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to, screen these applicants so you only see the strongest and provide support and expertise throughout the whole recruitment and interview process.

Prior to choosing a recruitment agency it is essential to do some research in order to safeguard you and your organisation against damage from a legal, financial and PR perspective. Here are 10 quick and simple questions to ask yourself before making your decision. If the recruitment agency is of a high standard then there should be no reason why asking these questions would cause a problem.


1. Is the Recruitment Agency a member of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) the professional body for the UK recruitment industry?

In order to safeguard yourself from a legal perspective, you should look for a recruitment agency which is a member of the REC. REC members work to a strict Code of professional recruitment practice. This ensures there is a Complaints and Disciplinary procedure in place.

2. How long does it take the Recruitment Consultant to collect job vacancy details from you?

Be wary of recruitment agencies and consultants that take job vacancy details from you in under 5 minutes. In order for an agency to find the perfect candidate, a consultant needs to fully understand who is required for the vacancy and understand your company culture. Recruitment isn’t just about finding the right person with the right skills for the job, it’s also so important to fit the culture of the company with the candidate. The better the fit, the happier the candidate will be with the workplace, the longer the candidate will stay and therefore the better ROI for your company.

3. What is the refund guarantee period? Is it fair?

If not, ask for improvements!

4. What is the screening process that the Agency undertakes on your behalf?

Make sure you check the screening processes of the candidates. You are not paying an agency to supply you with hundreds of irrelevant CVs which take up lots of your time to read. Recruitment consultants should be experts in your marketplace, they should know who is out there looking for work and it’s their role to inform you of great people in the marketplace as well as selecting a small number of perfect candidates so that you choose the best for you. Ask to see the candidate’s references. This is a must when filling a permanent or temporary position but you should also ensure you check the candidate’s references yourself.

5. Do they practice what they preach?

Find an agency that develops their own staff, that they believe in professional qualifications such as the MREC Certificate in Recruitment Practice. The agency that does this will be aware of legal, ethical and business issues and trained to select and interview candidates for accurate matching. Recruitment agencies that strive for this may have been awarded with IIP (Investors in People) status and other business awards in the development of people skills.

6. Do the agency’s current clients and candidates love them?

Ask for testimonials or referrals with their current customers and candidates

7. What experience does the recruitment consultants have in your field? Who have they placed before and where? Did it work out?

Do they have a range of experience to cover whatever position you seek to fill? Is it a general role or very specific? Is there one role or an array of positions available – can they deal with the demand? Do any of the consultants have experience of working within your industry?

8. Do they possess a clear equality and diversity policy?

Are they totally inclusive?

9. Is there somebody always available to talk to?

Recruitment is a people industry so don’t hesitate to give agencies a call or pop in for a chat to really get to know the specific consultant. It is important that the recruitment consultant understands the type of company they are recruiting for and it will help everyone to find the best match. They should ask you lots of questions to determine the skills you require and work as a professional partner to appoint the best people for your organisation.

10. Is the recruitment agency successful?

Successful companies work with other successful businesses. Check out the agency’s accounts and perform a credit check before giving them your business. If a recruitment agency is profitable, it probably means they are good at what they do!


If you would like advice about recruitment for your organisation call us for a confidential consultation on 01254 239100